Too Human, on the surface, has a lot of things going for it. The game enjoys a very creative setting -- a vision of the cybernetic future colliding with ancient Norse mythology -- featuring grand environments and impressive set pieces along with a cohesive and unique style. But then, everyone already knew that. Many previews have put forth Silicon Knights' vision this year, and Silicon Knights done as much themselves in their own developer video diaries and blogs. Too Human's presence at GDC this year marks the most public appearance the game has had since its infamous showing at E3 2006. It is with this in mind that the journalists gathered to see the game last night were concerned with only one thing: gameplay.
Normally, it's not exactly newsworthy when GameStop decides to slap a date on an upcoming release. This, however, warrants some attention. In an email being sent to GameStop customers, the retailer announces that Too Human, the upcoming Silicon Knights action RPG, will be shipping on May 6. Whether or not this email lends more validity to the claim than the GameStop listing for the game (which has the same date) is anyone's guess. At any rate, it seems the company is comfortable enough with the date that it has seen fit to directly inform customers. Right or wrong, Silicon Knights might be too busy to notice.
It seems like Silicon Knights is finally ready to throw back the curtain on Too Human, and impressions are coming in from all over the place. Right now, previews can be found on GameSpot, IGN, and 1UP. The long and short of it is that it looks like Too Human is on the right track. One thing worth noting, all the previews take great pains -- probably under the suggestion of Silicon Knights -- to explain that the game is not an all out action affair. It is, as we have noticed in the past, more akin to dungeon crawlers like Diablo. If you find yourself in the market for such a game, Too Human will likely do quite nicely. The previews note that there are a wide variety of items and equipment to be looted from enemies. The loot system is compared to that of World of Warcraft, with tons of customizable weapons and armor. Naturally, the most effective items are the hardest to find. In fact, certain items require that you find blueprints and pay an exorbitant price to have them crafted. The right-stick-controlled combat is described as working very well most of the time, but still in need of some fine tuning. Finally, it was revealed that Too Human is designed to be played through many times in order to max out your character's level. The level cap is set at 50, and Silicon Knights says that characters from the first installment of Too Human can be imported into the future sequels of the trilogy.
Overall, it's sounds like things are looking up for Too Human. Check out the various previews at the links below.
Read -- 1UP Too Human preview
Read -- IGN Too Human preview
Read -- GameSpot Too Human preview
Forget the tiny snippets of gameplay in the recent Too Humanvideo diary, because we've got the real thing right here. Through some sort of wizardry (necromancy, we think) GameTrailers has procured a trailer for Too Human comprised entirely of gameplay footage. Isn't that something? Yeah, we thought so too. Throughout the video you get to see the cybernetic god Baldur doing what he does best, which is apparently killing robotic baddies of all stripes. For those of you out there that have been following the game, we hardly need to tell you that this is one of the very few looks we've had at the game proper. Having watched the video, we can't help but think of Diablo and its dungeon crawling sensibilities, which certainly isn't a bad thing. We're still not convinced about the right stick controlling attacks, but we're still eager to get our hands on a controller and try it out.
The first in a series of Two Human video diaries has hit the intertubes. Microsoft protests that the video is also available on Xbox Live Marketplace, but our attempts to locate it thus far have proven unsuccessful. The video features Silicon Knights employees describing Baldur, the game's protagonist, and some of the reasoning behind choosing one of the more obscure Norse gods as a main character. There's also a rather off topic bit about what the developers do to blow off steam. Honestly, we've never thought of starting a club for pitching pencils into ceiling tiles, but we're seriously considering it now. Oh, and if you wait until the very end, you might see a few snippets of gameplay that you haven't seen before. Click. Watch. Enjoy.
Speaking to Game Informer, head of Microsoft Game Studios, Shane Kim, has a lot to say about the current state of the Xbox. The main focuses of the interview are Microsoft's 2008 lineup, the 360's performance in Japan, and the Games for Windows brand. Of particular interest is the discussion on games likely to be released in 2008. Microsoft's E3 keynote focused only on 2007. Addressing the question of 2008 and games like Alan Wake, Too Human, and Fable 2, Kim notes that these titles are not "way out in the future" and that Microsoft would not be talking about them if they were. Kim also tantalizingly applied this reasoning to Peter Jackson's Halo project.
Another of the more bizarre moments of the interview occurred during the discussion on Microsoft's performance in Japan. According to Kim, Resident Evil 5 for the Xbox 360 was supposed to be "the big announcement." We're a little puzzled by this -- as was Game Informer -- considering the game was announced for PS3 and 360 just over two years ago. Read the full interview after the jump.
Okay, first thing is first, the headline above is somewhat misleading. Indeed, there is a new entry on IGN's Too Human blog. This time, however, Dennis Dyack of Silicon Knights steps back to let a cognitive psychologist write the entry. No, seriously, the latest entry was written by a psychologist discussing the Interacting with Immersive Worlds forum, a gathering of game designers and scholars. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss game design and theory. Rather than discuss, say, Too Human, the blog uses the birth of chemistry as an allegory for the game industry. Again, we're not joking. It's an interesting read, sure, but a littleToo Human talk wouldn't have hurt. Still, we do get a screenshot, which you can see above (see it in hi-res here). Hit the "read" link for the full article.
Over on Silicon Knights' IGN space, Too Human's art director Carman Dix posted an interesting article on how color is used in their upcoming game. Dix talks about the role of color, what feelings are associated with each hue and how Too Human's environments are colored to invoke the mood they wish. It's an interesting read for those of us who like getting inside the heads of the people who are involved in game development.
So now that you're in the "know", you can analyze a few Too Humanvideos to see what emotions Silicon Knights was going for. Hint: Becoming hungry is not an option.
Matt over at IGN got his hands on a new Too Human demo up in Canada the other day and came away feeling pretty good. If you remember, Too Human was shown at E3 last year and was ripped apart due to its lack of solid gameplay, loose camera, and sub-par graphics. Matt just wanted to let everyone know that Silicon Knights wasn't happy with last year's showing and reworked a lot of the problems and are coming out with something they are proud of. Overall things are looking on the up and up for Too Human as Matt goes on to say that "the game has inevitably evolved, and it's on the level you'd expect from the maker of Eternal Darkness". Also, be sure to head on over to IGN next month when they'll be releasing a bunch of exclusive Too Human content and coverage. What do you think ... will it be good or will it be great?
Silicon Knights head, Denis Dyack, has been all over the intertubes lately. First he appeared on the Electronic Gaming Monthly podcast proclaiming that video game previews of unfinished products should be abolished altogether. No doubt Dyack is still stinging from Too Human's unfortunate performance at last year's E3. Then Dyack popped up on NeoGAF to say his piece about a supposed delay in Too Human's production schedule. Finally, 1UP reports that Dyack made comments on the IGN forums alluding to an eventual 2007 release for the game.
Frankly, with so many releases already arriving by the end of 2007 -- Halo 3, Lost Odyssey, and Grand Theft Auto IV just to name a few -- we wouldn't mind too much if Too Human slipped into 2008. Then again, we're not exactly going to complain if it doesn't. Is anyone out there still salivating for Too Human or has it been overshadowed by the rest of 2007's impending releases?
On his latest developer blog, Silicon Knights' Denis Dyack explains just what happened to Too Human, an action title about cybernetic gods. Savvy readers will know that Too Human dropped from the public radar after a highly criticized showing at E3 2006. Many publications were quick to point out the E3 demo's low framerate and less than perfect camera. All in all, Silicon Knights took quite a beating for an unfinished demo of an unfinished game. In his latest entry, Dyack explains the reasons they took an unfinished demo to E3 and the reasons for Too Human's subsequent disappearance. Dyack explains that Too Human had to "go dark" after E3 in order to make the necessary improvements (many of them made as the result of E3 feedback). He promises that all of the E3 problems have been fixed and that "sweeping improvements" have been made all around. He concludes by offering a single screenshot of the current build and letting us know that Too Human should re-emerge "soon."
Hopefully, "soon" means that the game will make an appearance at GDC before its expected June release date.
With the recent release of Gears of War you may be asking yourself, "man this game roxorz, but what other games can I look forward to in 2007?" It's okay my friend we're here to enlighten you, because About.com compiled a nice list of the most anticipated Xbox 360 games dropping in 2007. I'm already saving up for games like BioShock, LostPlanet, Halo3 (duh), Alan Wake, Too Human, Assassin's Creed, and Guitar Hero II. I'm going to shed a tear ... just look at what we'll be playing in 2007.
On his IGN blog, Dennis Dyack -- the man behind the upcoming Too Human trilogy -- reveals that Silicon Knights has plans for sequels to Eternal Darkness:
"I am most often asked if we have sequels in mind for Eternal Darkness. The answer is absolutely yes. Although this may not be obvious to those outside of Silicon Knights, anyone inside the guild understands that there is really no other answer."
For those who may be unfamiliar with Eternal Darkness, it's still one of the best games available for Nintendo's Gamecube. A survival horror title in the vein of H.P. Lovecraft, the game provides plenty of psychological scares and an involving story. One of Eternal Darkness' most interesting features is the "insanity meter." The more monsters players see, the crazier the character gets, and will eventually start hallucinating. The great thing about these illusions is that they would often break the fourth wall. For instance, you might enter a room filled with zombies when the game would give you a fake "please reconnect your controller" message. Good stuff.
Considering Silicon Knights' lucrative trilogy deal with Too Human, we can only hope that any Eternal Darkness sequels will hit the 360 as well.